Bill Gates — PC Industry And Video Game Exectutives — eGames.com Video Game Wiki
October 28, 1955 – ?
Above: William Henry Gates
Bill Gates is best known as the founder of Microsoft and its popular Windows operating system and office productivity suit. However, Bill Gates was the co-founder of Microsoft with Paul Allen. Microsoft has done very well over the past 30 years and continues to be a large, multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 companies.
Gates was born in Seattle, Washington. He is of English, German, Irish and Scotish decent. Gates had a privileged upbringing, having attended Lakeside predatory school and then attending Harvard, which he later left to start up Microsoft.
In 1975, Bill Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), which was a keyboard less and screen less microcomputer. Bill was not part of the computer scene, but heard about the computer in Popular Electronics.
He told Ed Roberts that he was working on a BASIC interpreter for the Altair but in reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair and had not written code for it. This would be the fist time that Gates bluffed his way into success. The purpose of the call was to gauge MITS’s interest before setting out in building the application.
The developed basic at MITS’s offices that resulted in a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. Bill Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS in Albuquerque in November 1975. They named their partnership “Micro-Soft” and had their first office located in Albuquerque. The company dropped the hyphen six months later and Gates returned back to Harvard.
Gates soon realized that Basic was being pirated and issued an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter saying that MITS could not continue to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment.
In 1976, Microsoft moved away from MITS and set up in Bellevue, Washington. During Microsoft’sthis time, Bill Gates oversaw the business and write code, often rewriting other developers code.
IBM enables a Multi-Billion Dolar Microsot
Above: Microsoft Redmond Campus
In 1980, Microsoft entered into a deal with IBM to develop an operating system after a deal with IBM and Digital Research fell through. Gates proposed using 86-DOS and later became the full owner, of 86-DOS. Microsoft licensed MS-DOS to IBM for $50,000 but did not transfer the copyright as he believed that other hardware vendors would clone IBM’s system. They did, and the sales of MS-DOS made Microsoft a major player in the industry.
This one deal lead to Microsoft becoming the multi-billion dollar business it is today. With over 80% market share, Microsoft can sit back and collect revenues with little effort require for other businesses.
In 1981, Bill Gates restructured Microsoft, which re-incorporated the company in Washington state and made Gates President of Microsoft and the Chairman of the Board.
In 1985, Microsoft launched Microsoft Windows. The first version version did not garner much success with developers largely ignoring it. The same could be said for Windows 2.0 and 2.1. It was not until the release of Windows 3.1 that Windows started to gain ground. However, most applications still ran better in DOS rather than Windows. This would not change much until Windows 95.
In 1995, Microsoft launched Windows 95, which achieved long line ups and was a huge success. This is the first iteration of Windows to move away from DOS, though DOS was still there in the background and would not completely go away until Windows 2000.
Bill Gates has been criticized by many for his temper and outbursts with employees and a ruthless business strategy. However, Bill Gates is largely responsible for the way computers work today and how software licensing agreements work. He is also well known for his charitable activities, giving back to many different groups including those that he and his wife have set up themselves.